Publisher: Forge Books
Hardcover: 400 pages
First Line: Alli Carson sat in the back of the armor-plated limo, sandwiched between Sam and Nina, her Secret Service detail.
One Word Review: Timely
When President-Elect Edward Carson's 19 year old daughter, Alli, is kidnapped just one month before his inauguration ceremony, he implores his friend, ATF agent Jack McClure, to help find her. Jack must deal with a multitude of obstacles during the desperate search for Alli and her kidnapper, including his own dyslexia, a current president who doesn't appear to want Jack to succeed, and the anguish he feels over the recent death of his own daughter.
First Daughter captures its reader from the few paragraphs. The story starts off with a bang, and continues with a fast pace and a tightly woven plot. As Jack searches for Alli, we catch glimpses of his past. It not only adds depth to his character, but also adds another element of surprise and anticipation. There are many political and religious questions addressed throughout the book. It would have been easy to turn this otherwise solid book into a monologue of what the author believes, but it doesn't read that way at all. Instead, it allows the reader to ask themselves how they feel about the concept of the separation of church and state in the United States. It's certainly a timely topic considering the state of the government today.
What Lustbader does best, in my opinion, is develop the character of Jack McClure. If, as I would imagine, this turns into a series, it'll be all the better because we've already been introduced to Jack and have shared his secrets and fears. Imagine a dyslexic Jack Bauer with a little bit of Alex Cross and a dash of Jack Ryan, and you'll get a sense of Jack McClure. He's made all the more human through his flaws, and it's what, I think, people will love about him.
First Daughter is a first rate political thriller that will grab you from the beginning and keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.